Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pug smiles: Is your pug really happy when he makes this face?

Liam the pug looking at the camera with an open mouth
If you asked my pet photographer friend to put a name to this expression on Liam the pug's face, she'd say that he was performing a perfect dog "smile." His eyes are wide, his mouth is stretched up to the corners, and his pink tongue is readily visible. In short, he looks pretty damn happy.

This is the expression my friend looks for when she is photographing shelter dogs. This is an expression humans associate with friendliness and sweetness.

But it got me thinking. When Liam looks like this, he isn't necessarily expressing happiness. In fact, he's reacting to something that I should probably get fixed, as soon as possible.

Liam the pug caught in a smile

I snapped these photos yesterday when the temperature outside had climbed above 85 degrees. Liam had been sitting outside on the deck, and it was a little too warm for his little pug body. So he opened his mouth wide and started panting. He may look like he's smiling, but in reality, he's pretty hot.

A hot pug has a few secret weapons, when it comes to cooling down. These dogs can flop down in frog formation and push their bellies into a cool floor, or they can sip cool water until their mouths feel refreshed. Or, they can pant while facing their people, hoping those people will either turn on the air conditioner or otherwise cool the hot room down.

Liam the pug with his tongue hanging out

That's what Liam is doing here. He's sitting in my lap, looking right at me, and hoping I'll do something about the hot air.

This isn't to say that pug smiles aren't cute, because they really are. But, when pugs look like this, they also need a little help from their people. A pug can overheat quicker than you ever thought possible. So when you see your pug smiling, go ahead and snap that photo. Then, turn on the AC. Pronto.

Do you agree? Liam wants to hear your answers in the comments.

Liam the pug tipping his head

And I'm sharing these photos as part of the Wordless Wednesday series, hosted by BlogPaws. It's a really fun way to share and see photos from pet bloggers all around the world. Have you joined? You should. And if you're not a blogger, check out some of the linked blogs below. You'll be glad you did.


11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Happy and hot, all at the same time!

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  2. I know! It's so hot! I was worried about the pavement being to hot all day yesterday and I thought --it's way to early for me to be worrying about all this summer weather stuff. Pug parents need to be extra careful!

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    1. I'm worried about the pavement part, too! Liam burned his paw pads last year. I want to avoid a repeat this year!

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  3. Liam sure is precious and, I have to admit, he does look cute when he's hot. Glad you made this point! We all do need to be mindful of our pets in the heat.

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  4. Such a cute pug!! Especially the last picture! Such a cute face!!

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    1. Liam does know how to rock a pug head tip :)

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  5. This is such a valuable point you make! The pictures are so cute but if you look close, you can maybe tell the expression in Liam's eyes are more about pleading instead of a relaxed, content expression.

    He's lucky to have someone so caring and loving to make sure he's comfortable and has everything he needs. 😊

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    1. You're right. It's all about the eyes. That's how I can tell what he *really* wants.

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  6. Liam is a lucky pug to have AC! We like half of Portland don't have it so we're crossing our fingers that this summer won't be too hot.

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